Never again will I mess with my toenails and cut them too short in a foolish attempt to prevent ingrown nails.
Because I did just that and it backfired like nobody’s business.
Last Sunday, as in 9/14/14, I did my whole home pedicure thing, despite DB telling not to because I was going to mess up my toes.
Well, Tuesday my right big toe was a little sore but nothing too bad. I’ve had soreness post-trimming before. Still, it made me think, “Maybe I should stop messing with my toenails like that…”
Wednesday it was even more sore. I was starting to get a little worried because it was oozing a bit too. But I still believed it would be okay, especially since I stopped at Target and got some Epsom salts and started soaking it.
By Thursday it was sore as shit. And I had this gross skin bubble thing on the side of my nail that was alternately bleeding and oozing gross things. At this point, I’m starting to freak out just a little. So I went to see my doctor that afternoon, who puts me on antibiotics and tells me to come back next week to have my nail cut down.
I have a picture of what my toe looked like at this point, but I didn’t think you all would appreciate it. I mean, I can look at pictures of disgusting medical conditions all day but I’m a nurse and most medical professionals are weird like that. So instead, I drew you a picture. This is what my toe looked like:
This terrifies me, as I still remember the pain of having an incredibly large splinter removed from my toe nearly twenty years so. But I figure I can do it. I mean, I had a baby without pain meds – how much worse can this be?
Well, I can tell you now that this was worse.
Last Friday, I woke up and my toe was so sore I couldn’t stand it. I went back to my doctor and begged her to do something. She said the infection was still too deep for her to cut out the affected nail but that she could remove the granuloma that had formed on the side of my toe and hopefully relieve some of the pressure and pain. I agreed, because I was desperate for my toe to feel better.
When she started injecting the lidocaine into my toe, I about lost it. I was holding on to two MAs hands and trying really really hard not to make a fool of myself, but I definitely dropped a few F-bombs. And yelled something akin to “Sweet Mary mother of Jiminy Jominy!” I now understand why they shove splinters under people’s nails as a method of torture, because having a needle shoved under mine was enough to make me want to spill state secrets and sign false confessions and do whatever they wanted just to make it stop.
Once it was numb, it was fine. But the numbness only lasted for 30 minutes or so before I had full feeling back. And I don’t know what she was talking about relieving the pressure and pain because my foot was in agony all day. (Though perhaps going in to work for 8 hours immediately post-procedure wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had.)
And to top it off, I had the knowledge that I had to go back in this morning and do it all over again hanging over my head all weekend. I nearly chickened out this morning.
But I mustered up my courage and went in to let Ken, Dr. Young’s PA, whack away on my toe some more. He assured me that, having been a PA in the Navy for 40 years, he’s probably dealt with 20,000 ingrown toenails and that he was more than up to the challenge of my toe.
He also very kindly didn’t laugh or roll his eyes at me when I started to cry before we even got started because I was so freaked out.
Again, once we got the toe numbed, it wasn’t bad. He showed me the piece he cut off – which looked enormous to me but was probably small beans to him – and assured me that he did whatever it is they do to the nail bed to keep that area from growing back and causing the same problem again. And I assured him that I was never, ever, ever going to frotz up my toes like this again.
I’m starting to get a little feeling back in my toe and it’s definitely sore. Ken told me that it shouldn’t hurt too much, and I’m hoping that he was telling the truth rather than just trying to soothe the crazy woman. Thankfully I’m off work today and can just lie about with my foot propped up, feeling simultaneously sorry for myself and angry at myself for causing this whole mess to begin with.
So please pay attention to my cautionary tale and don’t go messing with your toenails. (I mean you, John!) Because this sucks… And I am never going to do it. Ever again.